While Whole30 isn’t touted as a Whole365, if you still feel like you need more practice, you can definitely extend your Whole30 into a Whole60 or a Whole90, to give your body a chance to heal from all the stuff we’ve put into ourselves all these years. I feel the point of a Whole30 is to heal your relationship with food, learn what foods are best for your body, and to create your own personalized food freedom. Plan out your reintroduction one week before your Whole30 finishes (so you have time to go grocery shopping).
You can find the official Whole30 reintroduction guides here:
Slow roll reintroduction: https://whole30.com/2014/09/dear-melissa-slow-reintroduction-roll/
as well as starting on page 200 of “Day by Day”, page 35 and 132 of “the Whole30”. Page 132 and on answers a lot of questions you may have.
I like the 10 day fast track because it details out what to try and when. I pretty much followed this to a tee, because it took the thinking and fantasizing about what I could eat. Reintroduction still provides the safety of a schedule, so it’s comforting to have before moving into your food freedom. The 10 days aren't set in stone, so if you react badly to say, dairy, take as much time on strict Whole30 to feel better, prior to starting the next reintroduction.
The order in which you reintroduce food is important, Whole30 has laid it out in the order of foods least likely to cause issues to foods most likely to cause issues, so it’s best to follow it, especially on your first round. The order Whole30 recommends is: sugar > alcohol > legumes > non-gluten grains > dairy > gluten. Sugar and alcohol are optional to reintroduce separately.
It’s also important to not just notice the physical reactions (skin issues (pimples, eczema, rash), itchiness, afternoon crash, digestive issues, increase in cravings, sleep disruption, pain and inflammation), but the mental and emotional ones as well (mental: brain fog, tiredness; emotional: cranky, more easily upset, sad). This is all so you can learn what foods are “worth it” in your food freedom. When picking out the foods to reintroduce, try to pick ones with the “cleanest” ingredients possible, for example, don’t pick a dairy product that contains soy or a soy sauce with wheat in it, as you want to pinpoint what food you are potentially reacting to. If you choose to have a sandwich with mayo made from soybean oil, how will you really know which food made your stomach hurt, the wheat or the soy? Don’t sweat the added sugar in condiments, or bacon.
Here is my original reintroduction write up (the text is from the Whole30 site, I just copied and pasted it to make an action plan). I put dates in because it was a little hard to track the days. I’ve put my parts in italics, along with my reactions to each group. My intention was to try different items from each group, such as different beans that I like to eat, and not stick to just soy. Feel free to copy everything from below the line to use as a template to plan your reintroduction.
Whole30 ends Sunday 2/4/18 - reintroduction starts Monday 2/5/18
• Day 1: Introduce legumes Mon 2/5
Evaluate legumes, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Try some peanut butter on your green apple with breakfast, a bowl of miso soup at lunch, and a side of black beans with dinner, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, go back to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate legumes into your regular diet—if at all.
Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Peanuts + PB, Soy, Edamame, Tofu, etc.
1. Peanut butter (breakfast)
2. Edamame (lunch & dinner)
• Days 2-3: Monitor your response Tue/Wed 2/6-2/7
I was mildly itchy after each meal, in random places. It went away after a couple of hours. I was a little lethargic after lunch. I had a slight headache the morning after, and I was moody the two days after.
• Day 4: Introduce non-gluten grains Thu 2/8
Evaluate non-gluten grains*, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Eat a serving of white rice, some corn tortilla chips, and a slice of gluten-free bread, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate non-gluten grains into your regular diet—if at all.
Corn, rice, certified gluten-free oats, quinoa, etc.
1. Quinoa (breakfast)
2. White rice (lunch)
3. Corn chips (dinner)
• Days 5-6: Monitor your response Fri/Sat 2/9-2/10
No immediate reactions after eating. I felt very sluggish after breakfast, and very full feeling, yet I felt like I got hungrier earlier (around 10AM rather than 11:30AM-12PM) The rice was a little too delicious at lunch, and I felt like the sugar dragon woke up. I had some multigrain tortilla chips with my dinner, and wow, the chip dragon work up. Chips are definitely a food with no brakes for me, so I will have to be cognizant when choosing to eat these. I was very bloated in the days after, and emotionally, I felt depressed and more easily upset by things.
• Day 7: Introduce dairy Sun 2/11
Evaluate dairy, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Have yogurt in the morning, some cheese in the afternoon, and ice cream after dinner, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate dairy into your regular diet—if at all.
Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Sour Cream, Butter, Cream Cheese
Yogurt (Brown Cow whole milk maple yogurt) (breakfast)
Cheese (Keen's mature farmhouse cheddar (raw milk)) (lunch)
Cream cheese (dinner)
• Days 8-9: Monitor your response Mon/Tue 2/12-2/13
No immediate reactions after eating, except a little tummy rumbling (more digestive than still hungry). I had a difficult time sleeping that night. The next day, I had brain fog and had the beginnings of a breakout (4 pimples!). On the second day, I felt more edgy.
• Day 10: Introduce gluten grains Wed 2/14
Evaluate gluten-containing grains*, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Gluten is such nasty stuff that we want to break it out from the other grains, so you can evaluate it all by itself. Over the course of your day, eat a muffin, two slices of whole wheat bread, and a side of whole wheat pasta, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate gluten grains into your regular diet—if at all. *Anything made from wheat, rye, or barley.
1. Muffin (blueberry and chocolate chip muffins) (breakfast)
2. Sourdough bread (dinner)
• Days 11-12: Monitor your response Thu/Fri 2/15-16
After eating the muffins at breakfast, I got a horrible stomach ache. It was so bad that I skipped introducing gluten at lunch (I had some sourdough bread), but there were no other reactions after eating.The next day, I felt more irritable and cranky, less even keeled, and my stomach still hurt a bit (crazy, huh?). On the second day, I felt much better, both physically,mentally and emotionally.
Reflections: None of the additional sugar in any of the food I ate seemed to trigger the sugar or binge dragons, except to have them be a little more chatty, but it wasn't hard to resist them. I think I am still mentally being strict with myself because I know once I say "it's OK, just have a cookie, don't worry about it", that will lead straight on into a face plant into a whole container of cookies, which will lead into the next day's bread binge, and the whole cycle will start again. I also know that if that does happen, to be gentle with myself, and I know how to do a reset with Whole30. (At least this is my ideal plan!)
I also did not separately reintroduce sugar because it’s hard to eat just plain sugar, and it’s usually combined with something. I instead decided to enter my food freedom and test out how I reacted with paleo sweet treats. They are still addictive even though my body react better to the “clean” ingredients that paleo provides, and I just need to watch the combinations in “regular” sweet treats like dairy + sugar or gluten + sugar.